May 2009 Newsletter: The 1930s
This newsletter focuses on the 1930s, a transitional period for monarchies, with republics having been established in previously long-term monarchies such as Russia and Germany. The world was in a postwar depression, and Germany was rearming and showing signs of aggression toward its European neighbours. Japan was pursuing its policy of dominance throughout East Asia, and Britain and France were trying to recover from World War I. By the end of the decade the world was at war again, and several more monarchies were on the brink of collapse. As usual, we have sections for births, marriages, deaths, accessions enthronements jubilees & abdications, and major world events.
In other newsletter news, in response to the poll about the sections that our members don’t find useful, we’ve dropped the previous month’s and current month’s calendars. We’ve replaced them with a list of major royal events for the current month, along with links to relevant threads and blog posts, taken from the calendar of major royal events. For members who are missing the calendars, you can see a list of upcoming royal events at the bottom of the main forum page, and you can see the TRF calendar here (there’s a link in the dark-blue header bar at the top of any forum page).
Lady Jennifer, LadyLeana, and Zonk (newsletter editors)
Changes to the Team
We would like to welcome Mademoiselle Lilo, who is our newest moderator and has joined the team in the Morocco Forum. Welcome to the team Mademoiselle Lilo!
Kimebear is taking a temporary leave of absence from the moderator and admin teams to attend to real-life issues. We wish her well and look forward to her return.
Questions about The Royal Forums?
Picture of the Month
Don’t forget to vote for April’s Picture of the Month. There are two polls this month. The official poll highlights the official side of royalty and is here. The unofficial poll showcases montages of royal weddings and is here.
The Royal Forums Blog
The Royal Forums blog continues to thrive. We have over 30 bloggers, including 16 regular contributors, also known as Royal Bloggers.
The Royal Articles
If you haven’t had the opportunity, please check out The Royal Articles. We have a new article; Marengo is continuing his series of historical biographies with an article about a very eccentric and unusual princess, Princess Louise Marie of Belgium, who scandalised Europe with her affair and ended up living in poverty and exile. As usual this is an interesting, informative, and scholarly article, and it makes a very welcome addition to the Biography section.
Since we are unable to use professional photos to illustrate the articles, the editors are very interested in hearing from any members who have taken photos of royals and would be willing to have their photos used in the articles. Also, anyone who would like to try their hand at writing an article should contact one of the editors. The editors are Elspeth, Mandy, Marengo, and TheTruth.
Major Royal Events in May
For more details, see the 2009 Calendar of Royal Events.
21 August 1930: Princess Margaret Rose of York (later Countess of Snowdon) was born at Glamis Castle in Scotland, as second child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. She was fourth in line for the British throne, after her uncle, her father and her elder sister, later Queen Elizabeth II. At the age of six, her father became King. She was a stunning beauty and the centre of all parties she attended. In 1960 she married photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones, and the couple had two children: David, Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah. The couple was created Earl and Countess of Snowdon upon the marriage. They divorced in 1978. The Princess suffered greatly from her deteriorating health in her later life. She died on 15 February 2002, only six weeks before her mother. She was cremated and her ashes placed in the tomb of her parents.
7 September 1930: Prince Baudouin of Belgium (later Baudouin I), Count of Hainaut, later Duke of Brabant, was the first son and second child of the then Duke and Duchess of Brabant, Prince Leopold of Belgium and Princess Astrid of Sweden. He was born at Stuyvenberg Castle in Laeken. His father became King of the Belgians in 1930, the same year his brother Albert was born. One year later he would lose his mother in a car accident in Kussnacht, Switzerland. During WWII, Prince Baudouin lived in France and Spain. After the war, due to political turmoil in Belgium, King Leopold was forced to abdicate, and his son Baudouin became King of the Belgians in 1951. In 1960 he married Spanish aristocrat Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón. The couple would remain childless. After a long and fruitful reign, King Baudouin I of the Belgians died in 1993, in his summer residence in Motril. He would be the first Belgian King to die on foreign soil.
6 June 1934: Prince Albert of Belgium (later King Albert II), Prince of Liège, was the second son and youngest child of King Leopold III of Belgium and Queen Astrid of Sweden. Like his brother, Albert was born at Castle Stuyvenberg. He grew up in the turmoil of World War II and the political troubles in Belgium. When his brother became King, Albert became his “sidekick”, leading many economic missions and polishing up the image of Belgium abroad. He married the Italian princess donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria in 1959. The couple would have 3 children together, and they have no less than 12 grandchildren. The marriage was not always very happy, and from Albert’s affair with a Belgian noble lady another daughter was born. The couple did find each other again, and are now very happy together. Albert became King of the Belgians in 1993, after the unexpected death of his elder brother. He will be 75 this year, and celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary.
11 June 1934: Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat (later Prince Henrik of Denmark, consort of Margrethe II), born as son of Count André Laborde de Monpezat and Countess Renée de Monpezat. He lived the first few years of his life in French Indochina. He studied law and political schience at the Sorbonne, as well as Vietnamese and Chinese at the École Nationale des Langues Orientales. He served in the French army and worked at the French embassy in London. He married Princess Margarethe, heiress presumptive to the Danish throne on 10 June 1967. His name was Danicized to Henrik, and he was given the title Prince of Denmark. The couple has two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim, and currently 5 grandchildren. Henrik became Prince Consort of Danmark in 1972, upon his wife’s accession to the throne.
20 October 1934: Michiko Shoda (later Empress Michiko) was born in Tokyo, the eldest daughter of Hidesaburo Shōda, president and later honorary chairman of Nisshin Flour Milling Company, and his wife, Fumiko Soejima. She studied in Tokyou, at Harvard University and at at the University of Oxford. She met Crown Prince Akihito on a tennis court in 1957, and they married in 1959. She is the first commoner to marry into the imperial family. The couple has three children. Upon the death of Emperor Hirohito, her husband ascended to the Japanese throne, and she became the Empress-consort of Japan.
14 November 1935: Hussein bin Talal (later Hussein I of Jordan), son of Talal bin Abdullah of Jordan and Zein al Sharaf Talal. He survived an assasination attempt in 1951, in which his grandfather, King Abdullah I of Jordan, was killed. His father became King, but soon had to abdicate in favour of his 16-year old son. Hussein became King of Jordan in 1953. He lead his country until his death in 1999. He was a remarkable politician He married four times, but was never married to more than one woman at the same time. He has 11 children. His eldest son, Prince Abdullah, became King of Jordan upon his death, after Hussein disinherited his brother Hassan.
21 February 1937: Prince Harald of Norway (later Harald V) was born as the first and only son of the then Crown Prince Olav of Norway and Crown Princess Märtha of Sweden, at the Crown Prince’s residence at Skaugum. He would be the first heir to the Norwegian throne to be born in Norway in over 600 years. During WWII, he and his sisters (both older than him) first fled to Sweden, but they were not really welcomed there, even though their mother was a Swedish Princess by birth. They later moved to Washington DC, where they stayed until the end of the war in 1945. Back in Norway, he would be the forst royal to attend a public school there. Harald studied at the universities of Oslo and Oxford. He married commoner Sonja Haraldsen in 1968. The couple has two children, Princess Märtha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon, and five grandchildren. Harald became King of Norway in 1991, upon the death of his father.
11 September 1937: Princess Paola Ruffo di Calabria (later Queen Paola of Belgium) was born as the seventh and youngest child of Fulco, Prince Ruffo di Calabria, 6th Duke of Guardia Lombarda and Countess Luisa Gazelli di Rossana e di Sebastiano, a matrilineal descendant of Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette. During the War in Italy she lived in a convent, because her family was antifascist. She lost her father at the age of 8, and had already lost two of her siblings by then. After the War, she mostly lived in Rome. She was one of the most beautiful princesses of Europe. She met Prince Albert of Belgium in 1959 during the coronation of Pope John XXIII, and they married that same year. The couple has three children (Prince Philippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent) and twelve grandchildren. She became Queen of the Belgiums upon her husband’s ascession to the throne in 1993. The couple will be married for 50 years this summer.
5 January 1938: Infante Juan Carlos of Spain (later King Juan Carlos), eldest son of Juan de Borbón, Count of Barcelona, and Maria de las Mercedes van Bourbon-Sicilies, while his family was in exile during the Spanish Civil War (see “Major World Events for a more detailed description. He has one brother (who died at age 15) and two sisters. He married Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, daughter of King Paul of Greece and Queen Frederika. The couple has three children: Infanta Elena, Infanta Cristina and Felipe, Prince of Asturias. Juan Carlos was appointed by Franco as King of Spain, and was expected to be a puppet of the regime, but soon after the death of Franco, the King decided to choose a different course, and he successfully reinstated democracy in Spain.
31 January 1938: Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands (later Queen Beatrix) was born as the eldest daughter of Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands and her consort, Prince Bernhard at Soestdijk Palace. She would have three sisters. During WWII, the family first fled to London, and then moved on to Canada. In 1945, they returned to the Netherlands, and three years later Juliana succeeded her mother to the throne. She studied atLeiden University and obtained a degree in Law. She married German aristocrat Claus von Amsberg, which caused a great deal of commotion at the time, the population remembring the years of German occupation. However, Prince Claus became a popular member of the Royal family as time went by. The couple has three sons and eight grandchildren. In 1980, Beatrix became Queen regnant of the Netherlands upon the abdication of her mother, Queen Juliana. Her husband died in 2002. Rumour has it, the Queen is preparing to abdicate in favour of her eldest son, Prince Willem-Alexander. However, these rumours have been flying around for some years now, so they should be taken in account with some caution.
2 November 1938: Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark (later Queen Sofia of Spain) was born as eldest child of King Paul of Greece and Queen Frederika. She has one brother, the deposed King Constantine II of Greece, and one sister, Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark. Princess Sofia spent her earliest childhood in exile in Egypt and South Africa. She went to a German boarding school, and later studied in Athens. She converted to Catholicism when she married Juan Carlos of Spain, one of the main contestants for the Spanish throne. In 1975, she became Queen of Spain when her husband was appointed as King. The couple has three children, Infanta Elena, Infanta Cristina and Felipe, Prince of Asturias.
7 April 1939: Prince Leka of Albania, the only son of King Zog I of Albania and Queen Geraldine. Only a few days after his birth, his family was driven away from Albania by an Italian invasion, and subsequently deposed by the Italian King. He would live most of his life in exile, but in 1993 he returned to Albania with a passport issued by his own Royal Court. The Prince became heir apparent in 1957, and proclaimed himself King upon his father’s death in 1961. He spent most of his life jetsetting and moving about, from Madrid to South Africa. He married Susan Cullen-Ward, an Australian woman, in 1975, and they have one son, Prince Leka.
Royal Marriages and Anniversaries
8 January 1930: Prince Umberto of Italy and Princess Marie-José of Belgium. Crown Prince Umberto of Italy was born on September 15, 1904, the son of Victor Emmanuel III of Ital and Princess Elena of Montenegro. Prince Marie Jose of Belgium was born on August 4, 1906, the daughter of daughter of King Albert I of Belgium and Queen Elisabeth (the former Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria). The couple were married on January 8, 1930 and were the parents of Princess Maria of Bourbon-Parma, Prince Vittorio Emanuel, the Prince of Naples, Princess Maria Gabriella Elisabeth of Savoy and Princess Maria Beatrice Caroline of Savoy. Following the overthrow of Mussolini in 1943, King Victor Emmanuel handed over his constitutional functions to Prince Umberto. Prince Umberto succeeded his father to the throne of Italy but was king for only 33 days. Following a referendum in 1946, the royal family was forced into exile, where the couple separated. King Umberto II died on March 18, 1980 and Queen Marie Jose died of lung cancer on January 27, 2001.
25 October 1930: Boris III of Bulgaria and Princess Giovanna of Italy Boris, Tsar of Bulgaria was born the son of Ferdinand I, Tsar of Bulgaria and the former Princess Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma. Princess Giovanna was born on November 13, 1907 the daughter of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Queen Elena. Following the Bulgaria’s defeat in World War, Ferdinand I abdicated and Boris because Tsar of Bulgaria. Tsar Boris III and Princess Giovanna married on October 25, 1930 with Benito Mussolini among the guests. Following their marriage, Princess Giovanna adopted the Bulgarian version of her name, Ioanna. They were the parents of Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria and Prince Simeon, (later Tsar of Bulgaria). Boris III died suddenly in August 1943 under suspicious circumstances. Tsarina Ionna died on February 26, 2000.
8 April 1931: Henri of Orleans, Count of Paris, to Princess Isabelle of Orleans-Bragança. Henri of Orleans was born on July 5, 1908, the son of Jean d’Orleans and Isabelle d’Orleans. Princess Isabelle was born August 13, 1911, the daughter of Prince Pedro de Alcantara of Orleans-Braganza and the Countess Elisabeth Dobrzensky of Dobrzenicz. The couple married on April 8, 1931 and were the parents of eleven children: Princess Isabelle Marie, Prince Henri Philippe, Princess Hélène Astrid, Prince François Gaston (who predeceased his parents on October 11, 1960), Princess Anne Marguerite, Princess Diane Françoise, Prince Michel Joseph, Prince Jacques Jean, Princess Claude Marie, Princess Jeanne de Chantal and Prince Thibault Louis (who predeceased his parents on March 23, 1983). Henri became pretender to the French throne in 1940, and the couple separated in 1986. The Count died of cancer on June 19, 1999 and the Countess died on July 5, 2003.
19 October 1932: Prince Carl Gustav Duke of Västerbotten and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Prince Carl Gustav was born on April 22, 1906, the son of King Gustav VI of Sweden and Princess Margaret of Connaught. Princess Sibylla was born January 18, 1908 the daughter of Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein. On October 20, 1932 she married Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden. Their marriage produced five children: Princess Margaretha, Princess Birgitta, Princess Desiree, Princess Christina and Prince Carl Gustav (later King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden). In 1947, Prince Carl Gustav died in an airplane crash. Princess Sibylla died on November 28, 1972.
24 May 1935: Prince Frederik of Denmark and Princess Ingrid of Sweden (later Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid). Prince Frederik of Denmark was born on March 11, 1899, the son of King Christian X of Denmark and Queen Alexandrine, the former Duchess of Mecklenburg. Princess Ingrid of Sweden was born on March 28, 1910, the daughter of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and Princess Margaret of Connaught. The couple married on May 24, 1935 and were the parents of Princess Margrethe (later Queen Margrethe II of Denmark), Princess Benedikte and Princess Anne Marie (later Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes. Prince Frederik became King of Denmark on April 20, 1947. King Frederik died on January 14, 1972 and Queen Ingrid died November 7, 2000.
12 October 1935: Don Juan, Count of Barcelona, and Princess María Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Don Juan was born on June 20, 1913, the son of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and the former Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. Princess Maria was born on December 23, 1910, the daughter of Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Princess Louise of France. The couple married in Rome on October 12, 1935. They were the parents of four children: Infanta Pilar, Infante Juan (later King Juan Carlos I of Spain), Infanta Margarita and Infante Alfonso of Spain (who predeceased his parents in 1956). When her husband took the royal title of Count of Barcelona in 1942, María gained the title of Countess of Barcelona. In 1975, Infante Juan ascended the throne as King Juan Carlos I of Spain. In 1977, the Count of Barcelona formally renounced his claim to the Spanish throne, in return his son officially recognized him as the Count of Barcelona. The Count died on April 1, 1993. The Countess died on January 2, 2009 of a heart attack.
24 November 1936: Princess Juliana of The Netherlands and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. Princess Juliana was born on April 30, 1909, the daughter of Duke Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands. Count Bernhard was born on June 29, 1911, the son of Prince Bernhard of Lippe and Baroness Armgard von Sierstorpff-Cramm. Prior to their marriage on November 24, 1936, Prince Bernhard was granted Dutch citizenship. The marriage produced four children: Princess Beatrix (later Queen Beatrix), Princess Irene, Princess Margriet, and Princess Maria Christina. Princess Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands upon her mother’s abdication in 1948. Queen Juliana abdicated the throne on April 30, 1980 to her daughter, Queen Beatrix, reassuming the title of Princess Juliana. Juliana died in her sleep on March 20, 2004 from complications of pneumonia. Prince Bernhard died of cancer on December 1, 2004.
3 June 1937: Duke of Windsor and Wallis Warfield (Simpson). The Duke of Windsor was born Prince Edward of York on June 23, 1894 the son of The Duke of York (later George V) and the Duchess of York (before her marriage, Princess Victory Mary of Teck and later Queen Mary). Bessie Wallis Warfield was born in Baltimore, Maryland on June 19, 1895, the only child of Teackle Wallis Warfield and Alice Montague. [Her father died within a year of her birth.] Prince Edward was formally invested as Prince of Wales on July 13, 1911. On November 8, 1916 Wallis Warfield married Earl Winfield Spencer, the couple divorced on December 10, 1927. On July 21, 1928 she married Ernest Aldrich Simpson. Through Lady Thelma Furness she met Edward, Prince of Wales. In 1933, it is alleged that she became the mistress of the Prince of Wales. On January 20, 1936, King George V died and Edward ascended the throne as Edward VIII. Prior to the King’s death, Edward’s relationship with Mrs. Simpson (who was still married) caused considerable strain between father and son. This concern was shared by the British government as well Queen Mary and the Duke of York as the relationship began to interfere with the King’s official duties. It soon became apparent that the King intended to marry Mrs. Simpson. This was a major problem as 1) the King was/is considered the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and 2) at the time the Church of England did not permit the remarriage of divorced people with living ex-spouses (This was not amended until 2002); and 3) the constitutional position was that the King could not marry a divorcée and remain as King (for to do so would conflict with his role as Supreme Governor). On October 27, 1936, she filed for divorce from Ernest Simpson. It soon became clear that the British dominions would not sanction the marriage of the King and Mrs. Simpson and that the King had no intention of giving up Mrs. Simpson. He therefore decided to abdicate. The King signed the Instrument of Abdication on December 10, 1936, and was given the name The Duke of Windsor. The Simpson divorce was finalized in May 1937. The couple married on June 3, 1937 and had no children. The Duke of Windsor died on May 28, 1972 and The Duchess of Windsor died on April 24, 1986.
9 January 1938: Prince Paul of Greece and Princess Frederica of Hanover. Prince Paul of Greece was born on December 14, 1901, the son of Constantine I, King of the Hellenes and Princess Sophia of Prussia. Princess Frederica was born on April 18, 1917, the daughter of Ernst Augustus III, Duke of Brunswick and Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia. On January 9, 1938, Paul married Princess Frederika of Hanover. The couple had three children: Princess Sofia (who is now Queen Sofia of Spain), Constantine (who is known as Constantine II, King of the Hellenes) and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark. The family was exiled from Greece during World War II and returned to Greece in 1946. On April 1, 1947, Prince Paul ascended the throne as Paul I. King Paul died of cancer on March 6, 1964. Queen Frederica died on February 6, 1981.
20 January 1938: King Farouk of Egypt and Farida Zulficar. King Farouk was born on February 11, 1920 the son of HM King Fuad and Nazli Sabri. Safinaz Hanim Zulfikar was born on September 5, 1921 to an Egyptian noble family. At the age of sixteen, she married King Farouk on 20 January 1938. Upon her marriage she was given the name Farida. The marriage produced three daughters, Princess Feriyal, Princess Fawziya and Princess Fadia. Following the birth of their third daughter, Farouk divorced her, on 19 November 1948. Farouk was overthrown in a military coup in 1953, and he died on March 3, 1965 . Farida died of leukemia on October 16, 1988.
2 May 1938: Louis-Ferdinand of Prussia and Grand Duchess Kira of Russia. Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia was born on November 9, 1907 to William, Crown Prince of Germany and Cecile of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Grand Duchess Kira of Russia was born on May 9, 1909 the daughter of Grand Duke Kirill of Russia and Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The couple married on May 4, 1938 and were the parents of Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, Princess Marie, Princess Kira (who died on January 10, 2004), Prince Louis Ferdinand (who died on July 11, 1977), Prince Christian-Sigismund and Princess Xenia (who died on January 18, 1922). The Grand Duchess died of a heart attack on September 8, 1967. Prince Louis Ferdinand died in 1994.
4 April 1930: Queen Viktoria of Sweden was born Princess Viktoria of Baden, the daughter of Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden and Grand Duchess Luise of Baden (formerly Princess Luise of Prussia). On September 20, 1881 she married Crown Prince Gustaf of Sweden and Norway. They were the parents of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, Prince Vilhelm of Sweden and Prince Erik of Sweden (who died on September 20, 1918 of the Spanish Flu). On September 8, 1907 her husband succeeded to the throne of Sweden as King Gustaf V. Queen Victoria died on April 4, 1930.
13 January 1932: Queen Sophie of Greece was born Princess Sophie of Prussia on June 14, 1870, the daughter of the Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia and Victoria, Princess Royal of the United Kingdom. On October 27, 1889 she married Crown Prince (later King) Constantine of Greece. They were the parents of George II (King of the Hellenes), Alexander I (King of the Hellenes), Paul I (King of the Hellenes), Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark and Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark. The Greek royal family left Greece on June 11, 1917 after King Constantine abdicated. They returned to the Greece in 1920, following the death of Alexander I. The King again abdicated in 1922 and the family once again was forced into exile. King Constantine died in 1923 and Queen Sophia died of cancer on January 13, 1932.
2 July 1932: Manuel II of Portugal was born on March 19, 1889 the son of Carlos I and Amelie of Orleans. Along with his mother, he survived an assassination attempt by Portuguese republicans on February 1, 1908 that killed his father, King Carlos and his brother Luis Filipe, Duke of Braganza. His reign was turbulent as a result of the various political factions. As a result of a coup on October 4, 1910, Manuel spent the rest of his life in exile. On September 4, 1913 he married Princess Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. The marriage produced no children. Manuel died on July 2, 1932 under suspicious circumstances.
17 February 1934: Albert I of the Belgians was born on April 8, 1875 the fifth child and second son of Prince Philippe of Beligium and Princess Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. He inheirted the throne of Beglium in 1909, following the deaths of King Leopold II (1909 ), his son and heir, also named Prince Leopold (1869), and Albert’s older brother Prince Baudouin (1891). On October 2, 1900 he married Duchess Elizabeth of Bavaria. They were the parents of Prince Leopold (later King Leopold III of Belgium), Princes Charles, Count of Flanders and regent King from 1944 to 1950 and Princess Marie Jose of Belgium (who later became Queen Marie Jose of Italy). On February 17 1934, Albert I died as a result of a climbing accident.
20 March 1934: Queen Emma of the Netherlands. Princess Emma was born August 2, 1858, the daughter of Georg Viktor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont and Helena, Princess of Nassau. On January 7, 1879 she married King William III of the Netherlands. Their only child, the future Queen Wilhelmina was born on August 31, 1880. When William died on 23 November 1890, Emma became regent for their daughter. She would remain Queen Regent until Wilhelmina’s eighteenth birthday on 31 August 1898. She died on March 20, 1934 of complications from bronchitis.
3 July 1934: Prince Hendrik of The Netherlands (consort of Queen Wilhelmina) was born Duke Heinrich on April 19, 1876, the son of Friedrich Franz II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Princess Marie of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. He was created Prince Hendrik of the Netherlands on February 6, 1901 and married Queen Wilhelmina on February 7, 1901. The couple had one daughter, Princess Juliana. He died on July 3, 1934.
9 October 1934: Alexander I of Yugoslavia was born December 16, 1888, the son of King Peter I of Serbia and Princess Zorka of Montenegro. In 1922, he married Princess Maria of Romania, they were the parents of Crown Prince Peter (later King Peter II), Prince Tomislav and Prince Andrej. From 1921 to 1929 he was King of the Kingdom of the Croats, Serbs and the Slovenes, and from 1929 until his death, he was King of Yugoslavia. On October 9, 1934 he was assassinated in Paris, France while on a state visit. Unfortunately, he has the distinction of having his assassination as one of the first assassinations caught on tape.
29 August 1935: Queen Astrid of Belgium was born November 17, 1905 as Princess Astrid of Sweden, the daughter of Prince Carl of Sweden and Princess Ingeborg of Denmark. In 1926, she married Prince Leopold of Belgium. The couple had three children, JosÃ©phine-Charlotte (later Grand Duchess of Luxembourg), Prince Baudoin (who later succeeded the throne as King Baudouin), and Prince Albert (who succeeded his brother as King Albert II), Astrid died in a car accident in Kussnacht, Switzerland on August 29,1935, after she had been Queen of the Belgians for only a year, and reputedly pregnant with her fourth child.
20 January 1936: George V was born Prince George of Wales on June 3, 1865, the son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VII of the United Kingdom) and Princess Alexandra of Denmark (later Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom). In 1891, upon the death of his elder brother Albert Victor died of pneumonia, Prince George found himself 2nd in line of succession to the British throne and engaged to his late brother’s fiancÃ©e, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck. The couple were married July 6, 1893. They were the parents of Prince Edward (later Edward VIII), Prince Albert George (later Duke of York and George VI), Prince Henry (later Duke of Gloucester), Prince George (later Duke of Kent), Princess Mary (later the Princess Royal) and Prince John (who predeceased his parents on January 18, 1919). George, the Prince of Wales became King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India upon the death of his father, King Edwad VII on May 6, 1910. To appease British nationalist feelings, on July 17, 1917 he issued an order that changed the name of the British Royal House from the House of Saxe-Goburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor. He had a tumultuous relationship with his son and heir, Edward VIII. He died on January 29, 1936.
17 July 1938:Queen Marie of Romania was born Princess Marie of Edinburgh on October 29, 1875, the daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia. On January 10, 1893, Princess Marie married Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania. In 1914, King Carol I of Romania died and Ferdinand ascended the throne of Romania. As a result of the war, TM King Ferdinand and Queen Marie were not crowned as king and queen until 1922. King Ferdinand died in 1927, and was succeeded by their son, King Carol II of Romania. Following his accession, King Carol II and Queen Marie did not have an amicable relationship. She died on July 17, 1938.
25 July 1938: Franz I of Liechtenstein was born on August 28, 1853 the son of Aloys II of Liechtenstein and Countess Franzika Kinsky. Franz succeeded his older brother Johann II, as Prince of Liechtenstein in 1929. On July 22, 1929, he married Elisabeth von Gutmann. They had no children. In March 1938 the elderly Franz I named Franz Joseph as regent. Franz I died on 25 July 1938, and was formally succeeded by Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein.
20 November 1938: Queen Maud of Norway was born Princess Maud of Wales on November 26, 1869, the daughter of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VII of the United Kingdom) and Alexandra, Princess of Denmark. On July 22, 1896, she married Prince Carl of Denmark. Her only child, Prince Alexander of Denmark (the future King Olav of Norway) was born on July 2, 1903. In June of 1905, the Swedish parliament dissolved the 100 year union with Norway and offered Prince Carl the throne, he accepted and in November he assumed the throne as King Haakon VII of Norway. Queen Maud of Norway died of heart failure on November 20, 1938. She was the last surviving child of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom.
Accessions, Enthronements, Jubilees, and Abdications
14 April 1931: Alfonso XIII of Spain was King of Spain from his birth until 1931. In this year, the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed, and the King fled the country. He did not formally abdicated his throne until 1941.
23 February 1934: Accession of Leopold III of the Belgians after the death of King Albert I, the father of Leopold III. He took the oath about a week after his father’s death.
6 May 1935: George V of the United Kingdom celebrated Silver Jubilee (25 years of reign).
3 December 1935: Restoration of the Greek monarchy after General Georgios Kondylis had overthrown the govermnment and proclaimed himself Prime Minister. A referendum (which was not secret) chose to have the monarchy reinstated, and King George II of Greece was asked to return to reign his country.
20 January 1936: Accession of Edward VIII to the British throne upon the death of his father, King George V.
11 December 1936: Abdication of Edward VIII in favour of his brother, Albert, Duke of York due to his insisting on marrying the American divorcée Wallis Simpson.
11 December 1936: Accession of George VI to the British throne, previously known as Albert, Duke of York, upon the abdication of his elder brother Edward.
12 May 1937: Coronation of George VI as King of Great Britain and the other Commonweath realms, on the date which had been previously intended for his brother’s coronation.
25 July 1938: He was regent of Liechtenstein since March of that year, but Prince Franz Joseph II of Liechtenstein was only formally instated as Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein upon his uncle’s death in July.
Major World Events
17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939: Spanish Civil War. After the overthrow of the Spanish monarchy in 1931, a left-wing republic was established. Internal tensions between different socialist organisations, the Communist party, and liberal groups led to discontent with the situation, and the emphasis on secular issues alienated the Catholic Church. Very close elections in 1933 and 1936 did nothing to clarify things. Strikes, revolts, political murders, and arson were becoming commonplace as the country balanced on the edge of revolution. The murder of a right-wing politician, Calvo Sotelo, in July 1936 provided justification for a coup against the socialists and Communists in government. The government was supported by the Soviets, while the new dictatorships in Germany and Italy supported the right-wingers. After the death of the right-wing leader Jose Sanjurjo in July 1936, General Francisco Franco took charge of the Nationalist forces. The Nationalists captured much of the country in 1936 but failed to take Madrid. By the end of that year, Germany and Italy were openly supporting Franco and supplying troops to fight the socialists. In April 1937, in a prelude to its actions in World War II, the German Luftwaffe bombed Guernica in the Basque Region, with major loss of civilian life. By 1938 the Nationalists controlled most of the country, apart from two areas on the Mediterranean coast. In the meantime, Hitler had occupied Czechoslovakia, and the British and French governments decided on a policy of appeasement. This showed the Republicans in Spain that they could not count on Britain and France for aid against Hitler’s Nationalist allies. In February 1939, after Nationalist victories in Catalonia, the British and French governments recognised the Franco regime. The last Republican strongholds, Madrid and Valencia, fell to the Nationalists at the end of March, and the war finally ended with a Nationalist victory on 1 April.
7 July 1937: Outbreak of the second Sino-Japanese war. In 1912 the Chinese monarchy was finally overthrown and replaced by a republic. The government was still very weak because of internal challenges by warlords, and the Japanese continued to take advantage of this weakness. After World War I Japan gained more influence in China, taking over areas previously controlled by Germany. The Japanese government, which was becoming increasingly nationalistic and militaristic, was determined to conquer Manchuria for its natural resources. This external threat served to help unify the Chinese government, and there were clashes between the two countries throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The Mukden incident in September 1931 involved an attack on a Japanese-owned railway in Manchuria and was believed to have been staged by the Japanese as an excuse to invade and take control of Manchuria. The Japanese-controlled Manchuria was known as Manchukuo, with the deposed Chinese Emperor Puyi as a puppet ruler. The international community expressed disapproval of the invasion and annexation, leading to Japan’s withdrawal from the League of Nations. After the Mukden incident, clashes between the Chinese and Japanese armies escalated, and in the 1930s the Japanese government entered into agreements with local rulers in northern China, ensuring that these areas of China were governed in ways favourable to Japanese interests. On 7 July 1937 the Marco Polo Bridge incident, on the outskirts of Beijing, marked the beginning of full-scale war, leading to the Japanese taking control of Beijing by the end of that month. The escalation to full-scale war meant that the Japanese army was stretched too thin, and it started to suffer some defeats. This led to the decision to bomb civilian targets throughout China, as well as to set up puppet governments rather than try to rule directly. After the start of World War II, the Chinese government relied on guerrilla warfare to prolong the war and wait for Japan to attack the United States, which it did in December 1941. The defeat of Japan by the allies in World War II marked the end of the Sino-Japanese war and the restoration to China of Manchuria and other areas that had been under Japanese control.
1 September 1939: Outbreak of World War II. The seeds of World War II were sown at the end of World War I, when the Treaty of Versailles ensured that Germany would be poverty stricken and vulnerable. In the meantime, strong countries like the Soviet Union, the Japanese Empire, and the dictatorships in Spain and Italy were looking to expand their spheres of influence. Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party took advantage of the despair and anger of the German people to gain support and votes throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. In 1933 Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. He started to rearm Germany, in contravention of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles; in 1935 he reoccupied the Saar Valley, which had been under the control of the League of Nations under the terms of the Treaty, and in 1936 he remilitarised the Rhineland, which had become a demilitarised zone. There was little response from Britain and France to these actions, other than the setting up of alliances with the Soviet Union. Germany and Italy both supported the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War, and entered an alliance in 1939 which was also joined by Japan in the following year. In 1938 Germany annexed Austria, with no significant response from France or Britain. Hitler then demanded that the Sudetenland, then part of Czechoslovakia, be given to Germany because of its largely ethnic German population. In return for an assurance that there would be no further demands for territory, Britain and France acceded to this demand, over the strong objections of the Czech government. Germany then invaded Czechoslovakia and created a German protectorate. The next object of German expansion was the city-state of Danzig. The British and French governments, now realising that German assurances of no further invasions were worthless, finally stood up to Germany and guaranteed to come to the support of Poland if Germany invaded. On 1 September 1939 Germany invaded Poland, and Britain and France declared war.Filed under The Royal Forums
- January 2009 Newsletter: The 1890s
- April 2009 Newsletter: The Roaring 1920s
- February 2009 Newsletter: The 1900s
- March 2009 Newsletter: The 1910s